Kus-kus-sum restoration a win-win

Dear editor,

Re: ‘Huggers’ have no regard for costs and consequences

Mr. Blondel asks: What are the cost benefits of land restoration and conservation? Many may be surprised to learn that ‘tree huggers’ and ‘bean counters’ agree: protecting the environment makes economic sense.

The business case is especially strong for municipalities because “you can’t run a city without nature”. Our environment gives many benefits, like clean air. “Eco-assets” like rivers also reliably deliver municipal services like stormwater management, which is calculated in dollars and saves communities large sums every year.

Kus-kus-sum, the project to restore the Field sawmill site on the Courtenay River at the 17th Street Bridge to natural habitat, will deliver net benefits and improved assets.

While it’s true that eagles and herons don’t pay taxes – they do give back. And residents who enjoy salmon and nature access pay taxes. You don’t see people strolling, paddling or fishing at the salmon “killing wall”. But people will visit Kus-kus-sum and then restaurants, hotels and local businesses. River revitalization adds to the bottom line.

The City of Courtenay is a Kus-kus-sum partner because restoration is also the most innovative, cost-effective way to address financial deficits and liabilities caused by flood risks and “the twin problems of aging infrastructure and ecosystem decline.”

Kus-kus-sum shows leadership for all B.C. and Canada.

As a Comox resident, I’m proud Brooklyn Creek is one of two pilot projects in B.C. using an “Ecological Accounting Process” to quantify benefits of the investments made by our parks and engineering departments, and the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society. Like Kus-kus-sum, it provides salmon habitat, helps store heavy rainfall, delivers flood mitigation, recreation, education and revenue. It’s a win-win for nature and taxpayers.

Vanessa Scott

Comox

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